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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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This study of the consequences of rapid population growth and their policy implications has led to the policy recommendations that follow. Having offered a number of options in the preceding sections, we now select those we think are the most viable for the near future to help societies cope with and influence population trends.
We are deeply conscious that the issues and actions associated with population questions are of enormous importance in the lives of individual men and women. For this reason we base our first recommendation on the ethical premise that freedom and knowledge should be extended so that people can act in their own best interest-both individually and collectively. It seems quite contrary to society's highest aspirations for men to assume, as some do, that their salvation can be accomplished only through coercion.
We urge that governments extend to women and men the freedom and means to determine the number of children in each family and the knowledge which will help them exercise responsible parenthood.
1.  A full range of acceptable, easily used, and effective means of preventing births ought to be made accessible by governments to all persons of reproductive age; if necessary, at nominal or no cost.
2.  Wide dissemination of full information on all the means of preventing births, on the economic, social, and health benefits of small family size, and on the cumulative nature of the burdens caused by large families should be given high priority both by governments and private institutions.
Information and advice about family planning must be factual and based as far as possible on the special conditions in each country. Very few countries come even close to fulfilling these ideals, not even the developed countries, which can most easily afford their costs. Real freedom of choice of family size with access to the best modern technology of fertility control is completely beyond the reach of well over half a billion families on the earth today.n for duplication of government services.